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Hampton/Shaler

Blessed Trinity Academy student heading to Diocesan Spelling Bee

| Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 4:03 p.m.
Nico Simakas
Nico Simakas

After winning his school's tournament, Nico Simakas earned the right to represent Blessed Trinity Academy at the 25th Annual Diocesan Spelling Bee in May at St. Louise de Marillac School in Upper St. Clair.

Fourth-grader Nico said that he wanted to participate in the bee against his school's fourth- and fifth-graders in order to try something new and foster his love of spelling.

In preparation, Nico spent about 30 minutes daily studying a list of words, including frequently misspelled selections, like “a lot,” “tomorrow,” “Wednesday” and “gamut.” He admitted to finding the latter difficult to spell, along with “juvenile,” “discrepancy,” and “nostalgia.”

“He'll write them, over and over and over again,” said Nico's mother, Maggie.

Nico credits his family with helping him get ready for the competition. “My parents helped me and my great-aunt,” Nico said. “They would just tell me the words and if I got it wrong, they would mark an X, and after we'd go through all of the words and just narrow it down.”

Nico has a similar strategy in mind for studying the same list for the Diocesan tournament. Nico has various interests outside of the spelling bee.

“He's big about doing homework and doing the right thing. He loves spelling and reading, but his favorite subject is math,” Maggie said.

In November 2017, he and his teammates won the 3v3 Live National Championship soccer tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

“I like to play outside. I like to play with my little sister, go on walks with my dog and spend time with my family,” he said. Nico resides in Shaler with his parents, Maggie and Nick, and 1-year-old sister, Lila.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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